Shredding Of Police Documents On June 20, 1997
AFFIDAVIT OF BENNIE GLAD
STATE OF OKLAHOMA )
COUNT OF CHEROKEE)
BENNIE GLADD, of lawful age, being first duly sworn, upon oath states as follows. My name is Bennie Gladd and I am a resident of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. I served in the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service until October 7, 1997.
In the early morning hours of June 20, 1997 other security officers and I were directed by the Cherokee Nation Administration to enter the Cherokee Nation Courthouse and remove those members of the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service who were under the direction of Marshal Pat Ragsdale. We entered the courthouse building a roughly 4:00 a.m. on the morning of the 20th. Once we had secured the guns, equipment and investigative files of the Marshals, certain investigative files were turned over to a representative of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Muskogee, Oklahoma. I believe those documents and hard drives comprised the materials seized in the search warrant raid carried out in Chief Byrd’s administrative offices by the Cherokee Marshal Service on February 25, 1997 under a warrant signed by the Cherokee Judiciary.
Once that was accomplished and the Ragsdale Marshals were removed from the building, Mr. Monte Strout, a Tahlequah lawyer who at that time served as the head of the Cherokee Nation’s Department of Law & Justice, instructed those marshals and security guards under the direction of Chief Byrd’s administration to shred the remaining documents in the Marshal’s office. Being a police officer, I felt this was an inappropriate order and I followed no such order. I knew that more probably than not, the remaining documents in the marshal’s offices contained investigative files, interviews of witnesses and other documents prepared as part of those police officers’ ongoing investigations. Mr. Strout was also head of Law Enforcement and Security for the Byrd Administration at this time.
Some of the other security officers under the direction of the Byrd administration did not refuse the order of Mr. Strout. Later that day of June 20, 1997, two or three paper shredders were set up adjacent to where Marshal Pat Ragsdale and Marshal Sharon Wright’s desks were. (Over the period of occupation the two or three shredders were used to destroy the majority of the documents left in the area of the Marshals’ office space in the Courthouse) Some of the documents, if they were noticed as interesting or otherwise important to Chief Byrd by the officers collecting the documents for destruction, those documents were delivered to Monte Strout or other members of the Byrd Administration such as Ervin Rock who were in charge of the operation at the Courthouse.
DATED this 20th day of August, 1998
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 20th day of August, 1998 by Bennie Gladd
Signed: Charles Shipley, Attorney, Oklahoma Bar # 8182
AFFIDAVIT OF PAT RAGSDALE
STATE OF OKLAHOMA)
COUNTY OF MUSKOGEE)
PAT RAGSDALE, of lawful age, being first duly sworn, upon oath states as follows:
My name is Pat Ragsdale and I am a resident of Muskogee, Oklahoma. Since the inception of the Cherokee Marshal Service in 1991 I have been its Director. I have read the Affidavit of Bennie Gladd dated today and from the description of the documents destroyed in the Marshals’ office last June, it is most likely that certain of our witness interviews and other investigative documents regarding alleged wiretapping and other alleged Federal crimes were destroyed.
DATED this 20th day of August, 1998
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 20th day of August, 1998, by Pat Ragsdale.
Signed: Charles Shipley, Attorney, Oklahoma Bar Association # 8182